‘Govt wants to make smartphone accessible to all at low cost’

ISLAMABAD: Government wanted to make a smartphone accessible to a common man at a low cost and this target could only be achieved if mobile phones were manufactured locally.
Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rahman on Thursday discussed local mobile manufacturing prospects in Pakistan with a high level Chinese delegation comprising heads of leading telecoms. Talking to the delegates she said after 3G/4G spectrum auction, we invited potential telecom manufacturing companies to come forward and invest in telecom equipment mobile hand sets manufacturing to help in building the eco system in our rapidly thriving telecom market.
Anusha Rahman said Telephone Industries of Pakistan (TIP) had been making landline phones for Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited. Government intends to use the skilled labour and facilities of TIP for local manufacturing of mobile phone. TIP is equipped with advance machines, which can be used, effectively in local mobile manufacturing. We invite telecom-manufacturing companies to partner with Pakistan when embarking on this new era of technological advancements.
Government is ready to facilitate investors by offering tax relaxation and others lucrative incentives as the government has recently reduced taxes of telecom services and also incentivised new manufacturers through reducing corporate tax by over 10 percent in its recent budget announced on June 3, she said. Chairman BOI Ismail Mufta talking to Chinese delegation said telecom sector in Pakistan has huge potential for investment especially after 3G/4G and government has already announced many concessions including 10 years tax holidays to the foreign investors. 
He said China mobile was a success story in Pakistan and other Chinese companies by learning from their experiences, could invest in local mobile manufacturing confidently as Public Private Partnership. Government of Pakistan also has a free trade agreement with China.
Head of the Chinese delegation Lou Peide and Secretary General China Mobile Communication Association (CMCA) appreciated the investment friendly policies of the government and expressed keen interest in local manufacturing plan. While sharing his experiences he said China telecom industry had started its journey from zero about 20 years back and now it’s leading the world with 80 percent mobile manufacturing share. 
Pakistan is a drastically growing market in telecom sector and its pace would be further geared up with its local manufacturing industry.
Minister of State for IT has appreciated the spirit and keen interest shown by the Chinese telecom companies for their investment in local mobile manufacturing in Pakistan and assured them the utmost cooperation of Ministry of Information Technology and government of Pakistan in this regard. 

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